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Langley HWDC – A Complete Guide (Royal Mail Tracking)

Today we are going to have a good look at the Royal Mail Langley HWDC (Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre).

What is it? Where is it? And what do you do if your package ends up stuck inside it?

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Summary: Langley HWDC

The Langley HWDC (Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre) is the main Royal Mail distribution and sorting facility for inbound and outbound international shipments. Essentially, any shipment entering or exiting the U.K. will pass through Langley HWDC on its way to the destination address.

What is Langley HWDC and Where is it Located?

logistics plane trucks boat map

The Langley HWDC is a sorting and distribution facility operated by Royal Mail. The centre is located close to Heathrow Airport, (hence the name) in the town of Langley, Berkshire.

The warehouse and sort facility first began operating in 2003 and is responsible for the sorting and dispatch of all Royal Mail shipments entering or exiting the U.K.

In other words, international outbound and inbound mail items are processed through this facility.

Langley HWDC Address

Hurricane Way, Langley, Slough SL3 8AQ, United Kingdom

Important Contact Numbers

phone on table

Unfortunately, Langley HWDC does not have an in-house customer services department.

This means that if you want to speak to a representative about your package status you will need to ring the generic Royal Mail customer services number.

  • Royal Mail Customer Services: 03457 740 740.

Lines are open Monday to Friday 7am-8pm, Saturday 8am-6pm, and Sunday between 9am-4pm.

If you suspect that the item has been held up due to customs checks, you can contact UK customs and export.

  • HMRC Duty Advisory Support: 0300 322 9434.

The import-export helpline is open from 8am to 10pm Monday to Friday and from 8am to 4pm at weekends.

How Long to Clear Langley HWDC?

Langley HWDC
The Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre in Langley

The main question people have when they receive a tracking alert containing the words “Langley HWDC”, is how long will it take to clear through the centre.

After all, customs checks take place inside the Langley HWDC.

However, there are a few variables at play when it comes to how fast your package will pass through the facility.

For example, if customs taxes or duties are owed, or relevant clearance paperwork is incomplete or missing, you can expect a delay. 

This applies to both in and outbound mail items.


Worse still, are situations where the contents of the package are prohibited. If customs staff find such items, the package will be confiscated and if applicable, law enforcement officers could be informed.

Admittedly, this is on the more extreme end of the potential issues you can encounter.

Assuming everything is in order with the package and Langley HWDC is not experiencing any delays, a shipment can pass through the distribution centre and onto the next stage of its journey within 24 to 48 hours.

When inbound, this would be transit toward the U.K.-based delivery address, when outbound, the item will be loaded onto a plane. 

The relevant update to expect once the package has cleared Langley HWDC is: “Item has Left Our International Processing Centre”.

Langley HWDC Delays 2023

Being the main international distribution centre for Royal Mail, the Langley HWDC inevitably experiences delays from time to time.

2023 has actually been a better year of late. In 2020 and 2021 the centre was understandably under pressure because of the Covid outbreak.

Mail volumes were higher, international transport was reduced and on top of that, staff shortages due to the coronavirus caused logistical issues right across the industry.

Royal Mail and UK customs have bounced back from that as a whole, and Langley HWDC delays in 2023 have been a lot more under control.

That being said, as we are now coming into quarter 4 of the year and mail volumes will increase as the festive season comes upon us, it is wise to post International shipments with plenty of time to spare.

Langley HWDC Tracking Updates

shrugging girl

There are a number of Royal Mail tracking updates that are relevant to the Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre. 

Let’s take a look at some of the more common ones.

Item Received by Royal Mail LANGLEY HWDC

This tracking update is fairly self-explanatory. When a shipment first enters Langley HWDC, this is the alert that is triggered.

At this stage, the package has entered the Royal Mail sort facility and will be prepared for customs inspection.

Item has Left Our International Processing Centre

how long until delivery royal mail

As mentioned above, this is the tracking update to expect when the shipment has been processed through Langley HWDC and is embarking on the next stage of its journey.

On an inbound shipment, you can often expect final delivery within just a day or two of receiving this update.

Read the full article on this update here.

Langley HWDC Item Leaving the UK

plane leaving

This alert is triggered on Royal Mail outbound shipments that have cleared through Langley HWDC and are in the process of being loaded onto a cargo plane for International transit.

This is often the last update you will receive before the package leaves the U.K.

You will not receive another one until the mail item has reached the destination country.

Other than the above alerts you can also receive generic updates with details of the customs process.

However, as customs staff does not scan packages in terms of providing tracking updates, you will not always receive these.

Package Stuck at Langley HWDC

girl on laptop frustrated

If several days pass and you receive no new updates to indicate that your package has cleared Langley HWDC, it may have experienced an issue.

I have already mentioned some of the problems that can occur that delay a shipment. 

I would recommend that you wait at least 3 days before making contact with Royal Mail. Even then, there are no guarantees you will be met with a helpful response.

How to Contact Langley HWDC

woman on the phone

The Heathrow Worldwide Distribution Centre does not have a direct link, or customer-facing telephone number.

To reach Langley HWDC in terms of getting an update on your shipment, you have to go through normal Royal Mail customer service methods.

This can be frustrating. If your package is stuck at Langley HWDC, Royal Mail will often just tell you to wait longer. 

As delays can very often be due to the customs clearance process, the Royal Mail staff member you talk to has little control over the progress of your item during that process.

Only when Customs releases it, (or requests payment or more information) can any proactive steps be taken.

However, it is possible to contact UK customs directly about specific items on 0300 322 9434.

With sufficient details about the package, (tracking number, recipient address), you will be able to determine whether the item has passed through customs or not.

With any luck, your item should pass through Langley HWDC without issue and you will receive your package in good time.

69 thoughts on “Langley HWDC – A Complete Guide (Royal Mail Tracking)”

  1. LK160407678AU from Australia to Manchester UK
    Tracking advises arrived at postal carriers facility in UK 17th Nov . No further updates given can you please advise

    • Hi there, it seems that Royal Mail has your item now but it has not received its first scan from them yet. You could try contacting Royal Mail to see if anyone can help there. Or you wait longer. International packages are often delayed during this handover. There was also recent industrial action that may have impacted the shipment.

  2. I have 2 parcels on the way to Australia, they arrived at Langley on Sunday 13 November and appear to still be there!! Can you help please?

    • Hello, have you tried entering your tracking numbers into a universal tracking app such as or 17Track? These are free to use and may show you more recent updates on the shipment process.

  3. My Package has been at Langley since November 26th. The tracking on the website that sent the package tells me this. The Royal Mail tracking says it’s not been received yet.

  4. I had a package from NZ sent on the 9th Nov, and reached Langley on 22nd Nov (16 days). Still has not arrived. Package was only birth certs and photocopy of passports. Is this something that would get stuck in customers? Any advice? I can’t track it since arriving in UK as that wasnt paid for.. am on hold to Royalmail for 40 mins. Haha

  5. I have a parcel (Christmas Present) stuck at Langley since 22nd November 2022 (16 days) from Thailand ( a bracelet ) no up date since and trying to get through to Royal Mail to help is a 40-50 min wait on line then disconnected!

  6. I have four outstanding parcels being sent to the US two from 28 November which are not showing as even being processed through Langley! Please advise: Royal mail says there is no further tracking available!
    Tracking Nos are:

    • Hi there, using it looks as if your RN731067430GB shipment is still in Langley (there is an update stating this that was made on 12/12 05:00). It is likely that your package was stuck inside Langley for most of this time waiting to be scanned in. Very annoying, I know.

  7. Hi, I have a parcel I ordered on 20/11/22, which was sent off on 23/11/22, and there’s been no updates since.
    Usually, once it’s sent, it shows that it has arrived at Langley after 3-6 days, with 6 days being the max and only taking that long once out of 15+ orders.
    Obviously now its been over 3 weeks so I’m a little concerned about its whereabouts.
    The tracking number : LD507195234HK

    • Hi there my item which is a book from Australia has been at Langley since 4 December, with no further information. Tracking number LH225757162AU
      Not sure why a book would be held up. Should I presume it’s lost at this stage?

  8. Same here. My parcel from Korea with fabric arrived at Langley November 22nd. Initially tracking through to Heathrow was good then it all disappeared!
    After a week it finally appeared back on the tracking at Langley, but since then hasn’t moved.
    It’s so frustrating!! And when I finally got through to Royal Mail they were no help……

    • Absolutely same situation! I ordered cosmetics set from Korea and it is stuck now at the Customs. It’s been there since 23 Nov 2022 … Have no idea when it is going to move further. So disappointing service and no way to contact them for any updates, unfortunately

  9. These comments are worrying as my parcel is at Langley, they are Christmas presents for grandchildren I ordered at the beginning of November to make sure I received in time

  10. Hi,

    Hope the very friendly Admin or someone in the know can help!

    I have a USPS International Tracked package arriving from NYC to the UK. It is from a friend and is a gift, so the Customs label was completed correctly. Everything is above board.

    The last update was Sunday 20th November, where it says “Departed a transfer airport in Heathrow, London.”

    a) What does this actually mean?
    b) Why is it stuck on this update for over 3 weeks? When can it be expected to update again?
    c) Does Customs follow this update?
    d) What happens next?

    Thank you SO much for any advice you can give 🙂

    • Hi there,

      Without the tracking number, it can be difficult to determine the progress of your item. Have you tried entering the number into

      Anyway, although the update itself is vague the package is in the U.K. Customs is after this update and will be a factor in the delay. However, if there is a problem or fees need to be paid, you should’ve been contacted, (or maybe still will be).

      Upon clearing customs, there is still potential for delay inside HDWC as the item waits to be sorted for dispatch. Especially at this time of year with seasonal high volumes. Although frustrating, 3 weeks is not uncommon right now.

      All the same, you could try the long wait times with RM customer services if you feel brave enough… Good luck, I hope your package arrives soon.

  11. Hi
    I have the same message as all the other ls International arrival – awaiting clearance

    Date & timeTue 22 Nov, 12.56am its now the 15th of Dec !!
    How do I find out if there’s a problem without updates! royal mail just said it’s probably lost!! Incase I need to pay taxes on my parcel etc… Pleasehelp

    • Hi there, if it is lost, you should contact the sender so that they can look into making a claim with the carrier they used. If you made an online purchase, you will also need to look into your position regarding a refund or replacement item being sent to you.

  12. I have a parcel sent from Australia that has been stuck at Langley since 4th December. The tracking number is LK161395755A Any information gratefully received.

  13. My item – a book – LH225757162AU arrived at Langley from Australia on 4 December and has sat there ever since. No movement, no further tracking. Should I assume it’s lost at this point?

  14. Same issues as everyone else.
    A4 size envelope sent from Sweden on 29 November, no idea where it is.
    Similar item again sent from Sweden on 5 December, tracked, and passed through customs at Langley on 12 December and still there, ‘ apparently ‘.
    I strongly suspect that militant Royal Mail staff at Langley are using a ‘ go slow’ campaign as well as official strike days to put further pressure on management.

  15. Posted only a letter to Russia 🇷🇺 on 03/12/22 via international track and trace… it is still only showing posted at my local PO and royal mail has it in system. Tracking nu,ber RN065118088GB.


  16. Thanks for this extremely helpful article. There’s a lot hereni didn’t realise including the fact that RM have consistently mislead me into thinking this was not their domain at all.

    I wonder if yiu might be able to help at all please?

    I have a small box inbound from the USA via USPS. The last tracking notification was on 22/12/22 “your item departed a transfer airport in HEATHROW, LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM on November 22, 2022 at 8:19 pm. The item is currently in transit to the destination.”

    Nothing since then at all on tracking number LV681900241US

    Can you ascertain or advise anything on this please?

  17. A4 size envelope sent from Sweden on 29 November, no idea where it is
    Similar item sent from Sweden on 5 December, passed through customs at langley on 12 December no update since.
    I suspect militant staff are on a ‘ go slow’ to enhance their strike days, we’ll be lucky to get deliveries by mid January.

  18. A parcel from China is shown on their tracking system as having arrived at Langley on 14th December 2022 but the royal mail tracking system says it is still in transit and has not been received. The tracking number is LV652576996CN can this impasse be resolved? Martin Radford

  19. My package has been at Langley since 19th November and is “being prepared for despatch overseas” since 29th November. I spoke to Royal Mail and they told me it had passed custom checks and I could claim for compensation after 23rd December. I would prefer to get it back is there anyway I could get them to return to sender or I could pick it up from Langley? The parcel was Christmas presents going to South Korea. Worryingly I tracked it on T17 and they gave an estimated delivery date in April! That can’t be right. Tracking number LB345936262GB

  20. Hello, I would really appreciate any information or guidance please, as I am at my wit’s end with confusion.
    I ordered some supplies for my small biz, as I’ve done numerous times before, from India. Never had a problem before. They arrived in the UK apparently on the 29th November, and tracks Ng said they were received at Langley HWDC on 2nd December. After no further updates for weeks, I’ve just logged onto RM tracking again, and it says on 17th December that it was received and is now being prepared for despatch overseas!!!!! What is going on please? I need these supplies and I don’t what to do.

  21. My parcel has been stuck in Langley HWDC since 2nd December 2022 no tracking updates since then. I have also lodged a complaint via Royal Mail with no response. This was a gift for my daughter for Christmas.
    Can you advise what steps I can take ?

  22. Hello ,
    help me to bring my object with this barcode RN809514543GB to Tirana tomorrow as I have gifts for the members of the Inner Wheel Club Tirana. Tomorrow we have the end of the year dinner and I want to distribute them.
    I hope that my request will be fulfilled.
    Thank you in advance

  23. My parcel was incoming from the Netherlands and was stuck at Langley since 23rd November. I’ve checked and called and nothing. Tracking hasn’t been updated and yet yesterday I finally received the package! It’s slowly moving through the network so hopefully the backlog should be cleared in the coming weeks!

  24. I am waiting for a painting sent from Poland that has been at HWDC in Langley since 23 November. I have the tracking number but it just says it’s in processing. How can it take 6 weeks?

  25. I am waiting on the return of my passport and various other original certificates- birth / marriage etc. they were sent from Ireland last Wednesday (15th) but there’s been no further update since then and I need to travel for work next Tuesday. Is there anyone I can contact to help find it in the system?

  26. LG995257998GB is the tracking reference of a package I posted to Dublin, Ireland on 24 Feb. It appears to have made its way to Langley HWDC IPS on 28 Feb. Today (ten days later) according to your track and trace app it is still there. Could someone please let me know what is happening?

  27. LG959804268GB this is my tracking number for my package it’s been sent over 3 weeks, it’s been stuck a week now at the same place which is LANGLEY HWDC IPS can you please advise because it’s getting frustrated now, can’t get in contact with no one and I need information of when I’m gonna get it. Thank you

  28. LG933203748GB, My order from UK to Finland, it has been now a week in Langley, is there a good reason why my package does not move???

  29. RZ897752016GB is the shipping reference for a package that has been on its way for 36 days, I find it excessive and frustrating. the package leaving the UK on two occasions, February 16 and March 16 again

  30. i have a letter waiting to arrive to Columbia has left the UK on the 12/05/2023
    nor received yet?

    tracking number RL631348640gb

  31. My parcel LV757740516CN was sent from Langley to Glasgow where it has been stuck for 3 week since the 12 May, I do not understand why when it was to go to Trowbridge in Wiltshire, It has come from China and has been in transit for 31 days now, It will be a largish parcel being a sewing machine, Has it been Lost?

    • It could be an issue with customs duty needing to be paid, (although you should have been contacted). You should contact Royal Mail citing the tracking number to find out more.

  32. Hi, I have a parcel LK173221898AU from Australia via AusPost. Sent since 18th of April, 2023. I tracked it from both Auspost and Royalmail . According to Auspost, It states it has arrived Langley but awaiting clearance. It’s going to 2 months now, and nothing has been done. Please help.

    • Hi there, yes your item is stuck in clearance by the look of things. The tracking shows that a customer enquiry has been lodged, so hopefully you will get an answer soon.

  33. Hello,
    I have a parcel from Australia that seems to be stuck at the Langley Centre
    International arrival – awaiting clearance

    LANGLEY (GB), UNITED KINGDOM • Mon 17 Jul, 6.22pm
    How long does it take for a parcel to clear and is there any way of contacting the centre to get an update?
    Many thanks

  34. I have a parcel from Switzerland been at Langley since 19th August
    ref LA059534328CH No change since that date just says received at Langley, item at UK customs, how do I get the parcel moving

  35. Hi,
    I sent a parcel to the US on 7th September. The last tracking information was sent on 8th- “Item Received Gatwick MC”. the tracking number is LO318067496GB. I have contacted Royal Mail and Langley HWDC and no information was available. Can you help me please?
    EDDY CHARRIN. 09/10/2023

    • Your package looks to be lost (and stuck in the depths of Langley HWDC). I see it was an international tracked, first class service. You should begin a claim with Royal Mail.

  36. I have a package from US that has been at Langley HDWC since Sunday 22.10.2023 with no further update.
    The tracking number is LV767294402US

    • Hi there, your package has been reported as being at “Hinckley DO, Held as Customs fee to pay”. You should contact Royal Mail with the tracking number for further details.

  37. Hello. I sent a package on the 11th Oct. and even now the recipient has not received the package. Can you check where it is? AWB RN782211325RO

    • Hi there, your packge is currently with Royal Mail in London, Heathrow. The latest tracking states: “This item has been received at LANGLEY HWDC, United Kingdom”. The fact it arrived there on the 20th Oct means you or the recipient should contact Royal Mail to find out more.

  38. Hello
    My Tracking No. RQ129666495DE

    I have a problem with package from Germany which arrived in the UK on the 9th November 2023
    at Langley HWDC And Heathrow International LC.
    Tracking Noted As WE’VE GOT IT.

    Nothing else was Tracked Until 17th November 2023 at 06.10 this morning when it was noted IN TRANSIT
    Your item has been received at a Royal Mail site, international processing centre.
    Your item is being prepared for despatch overseas.

    Then at 11.40am in the Tracking History it states Item Leaving Overseas to Germany.
    But at the top of the page it states IN TRANSIT
    This item is now leaving the originating country.
    More information will be available when it arrives in the UK.

    Can anybody tell me what is going on here?

    I have left a complaint at Royal Mail but do not expect a reply to soon.

    This also happened to a recent package from Italy which vanished, but got a full refund from the seller.

    Many Thanks

  39. Please help my tracking number is RN336654970GB. It was received at Langley a d processed through facility on 7 December at 9.02. it says item leaving the uk. and that is that. nothing since. it is now 20th December. my package is not received by recipient in the Uzs

    • Hi there, 2 weeks international transit time isn’t uncommon this time of year unfortunately, especially if a standard delivery option was chosen. Royal Mail shows that the package has been passed to a delivery partner. It is likley that your item has arrived in the USA and is waiting to processed through clearance.

  40. Hi there,

    A package was sent on 13th December – tracking number: RF507675522GB (from UK to Greece)

    On 14th December the tracking read ‘We have received your item at LANGLEY HWDC IPS, our international processing centre. Your item is being prepared for despatch overseas’

    but no updates since 14th December. A bit anxious. Any help / advice welcome please.

  41. Greetings from Slovakia
    My parcel RN5763348415GB is marked as having left Langley at 05:48 on 30th December 2023 for an address in Slovakia. As of this morning (09.01) Slovak Post has not received it, and GLS has no record of it. What has happened please?

  42. Hi, My packet RZ319252931GB
    Not found in the local mail , Is it possible for you to help me find?, the shipping is from UK to Colombia, It was sent on 2th January 2024, and the last tracking date was on 11th January 2024 at LANGLEY HWDC Leaving the UK.


  43. Hi, I have an item which is logged as leaving Langley on the 19/3 still not arrived in Belfast no . RR437508154MT. Is the a black hole over the Irish Sea where stuff from England disappears into.

  44. Dear LANGLEY HWDC team,

    Greetings from Mongolia
    A package was sent on 13th March 2024 – tracking number: RU857649850GB (from UK to Mongolia)

    On 16th March 2024 the tracking read ‘We have received your item at LANGLEY HWDC IPS, our international processing center.

    but no updates since 16th March 2024. A bit anxious. Any help / advice welcome please.


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